in: Public Relations - How To Pitch These TV Programs
by: Katie Hellmuth Martin
Getting a Media Contact for the magazine or TV show of your dreams is a small fraction of the big picture of what it takes to get featured in that media outlet.
People email into Tin Shingle all of the time, asking about how to get publicity on Good Morning America. Here are a few FAQs we get from business owners and artists like you. Ask us your own questions in Tin Shingle's private Facebook Group or Forums on our website (available to Community Members Level 1 and above):
"Why would GMA want to feature little ole' me?"
Because you're awesome, and people need to see/hear/read/experience what you made. Listen to Tin Shingle's Training TuneUp "Breaking Through PR Blockage" to get past this question and start pitching GMA.
"If I get on GMA or a local morning show, what will I even talk about? Why would anyone care about a first time author like me?"
You're going to know why you're going on the show, because you would have pitched them a very specific story idea. For instance, if National Poetry Day is coming up, you may have pitched a producer with an idea of "How A Non-Poet Can Write A Love Poem To Their Spouse."
If the producer likes it, you'll email back and forth for a while, and they will schedule you for a day and time. But even then it won't be 100% sure that you'll be on the air until you're actually on-air! When you get in front of the camera, you'll have 30 seconds to explain. Or maybe 2 minutes! One never knows how the segment will go.
Or, a producer reaches out to you, blindly. This would be the dream, right?!?! But if they have reached out to you, it is for a reason, and they will tell you. So again, this isn't a big concern for you.
Keep putting your content out there to all of your social media channels so that you can catch the eye of such producer, to be handed such a gift. Listen to Tin Shingle's Training TuneUp "Digital Media Marketing as Circuit Training" to learn how to circulate your content and accomplishments on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and your blog to attract a PR hit.
Pitch an On-Air Expert Who Does "Table Top" Previews
You know those people who come on the show, who talk about the things they've collected, and are recommending you buy? These people are known as on-air experts, and you can email them directly - or sometimes via their Contact Us pages at their websites. Tin Shingle has a collection of these people in our Media Contacts Database - and we're always adding more. Here's a sneak peek of what those contacts look like:
If you are such an expert who wants to be included in our Media Contact Database so that you can be aware of really cool businesses in Tin Shingle's membership, please contact us with your details.
"Should I pay for placement on TV?"
Usually the on-air expert is under contract with a TV network not to accept money for placement. However, sometimes they do. We are not condoning this and are not encouraging you to go this route. We are mentioning it as something you might encounter as a fork in the road.
Products Should be for Sale Now - Shipping Now
It's tempting to plan ahead for PR before your product (book, toy, jewelry, clothing, outdoor gear) becomes available for sale. If your product or book is in pre-sales mode, a TV placement might not work for you right now. The producers of the show want their viewers to be able to get it now. Especially "deal" shows that offer viewers an extreme deal.
Watch the TV Show
We cannot stress this enough. Please watch the show regularly and get familiar with the players and how segments are presented. This will help your pitching immensely. It's the easiest homework you'll ever do.